When I was 19 I decided rather impulsively that...
I got my tattoo 14 years ago, and along the way my feelings towards it have ranged from forgetting it is there to acute anxiety that keeps me up at night (rare, but extremely unpleasant). About 4 years after I got the tattoo I went to a clinic to see if it could be removed and the technician told me that there was too much green and that it would never come off. I was EXTREMELY disappointed, but was hopeful that at some point there might be a laser that could get the ink out. I waited, and just recently experienced one of those anxious nights where all I could think about was getting the tattoo off. I found this site and was extremely encouraged. It has been very helpful to read about the process and to see pictures. I feel that I now have realistic expectations. Ideally of course I would love to completely erase the tattoo, but I realize that there is a pretty good chance that won't happen. Worst case scenario, I would like to fade the tattoo so that's it's easily disguised with make-up. I'm not interested in a coverup.
The day that I decided that I was 100% going to make the consultation for the tattoo removal (and even making that decision was tough, what with all the unknowns) something happened that solidified the decision. I went to the gym and worked out. One of the owners said to me (God knows why he even told me) that another patron had asked him my name. He said to me that he said to her, "Curly hair, prison tat? That's Kate." I was sort of like, wtf. I mean, PRISON tat? But he totally didn't mean anything negative by it, he was describing me (and my tattoo) as he saw me. So then and there I was like, Yeah, I'm going for it.
I went for the consult today and ended up getting my first treatment done. I feel like I have a pretty high pain tolerance but damn that HURT! Especially the inside of the arm. The nurse was great, and used cold air. She told me I could take a break at any time, but I somehow powered through it in one go. Several hours later and the dressing is still one. I'm not having any pain at all, and don't think I'll even have to take a Tylenol, which is a relief (but we'll see, haha).
I'm posting pics before my first treatment. As you can see it's starting out fairly faded. I'll try to post followups every couple of weeks. I'm grateful for this community and looking forward to being a part of it. :)
Forgot to add pre-treatment photos . . . .
2 weeks after first treatment
I've been trying to eat healthy, drink lots of water, and get plenty of rest, as many people here have advised to do. I'm feeling pretty optimistic about the whole thing. It feels good just to have gotten started with this after so many years of regretting the stupid tattoo. I'm going to schedule my second treatment 7 weeks after the first. It is very hard to be patient, and as long as I don't have problems with healing or scarring I will probably schedule treatments 7-8 weeks apart. I keep reminding myself what so many others have said here -- fading is a continuous process and that patience is a virtue when it comes to this. I wish it was a little easier.
I hope you all are doing great and look forward to reading all of your updates as they come along!
The laser nurse Heidi was fantastic. She was straight-forward and didn't give me any false expectations. She also made the actual laser process as comfortable of possible.